The Optimal Response Strategy for High-Performing Sales Organizations

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Do phone calls and voicemails still work? How important is speed?

These are just two questions that Velocify, a provider of sales acceleration technologies, set out to answer in their new research report, “The Ultimate Guide to Inquiry Response.” They analyzed the interactions between millions of front-line sales reps and leads, as well as the outcomes from those interactions. The results identified optimal best practices for conducting sales outreach to leads across platforms.

The findings of this study should be of interest to any sales leader looking to improve speed-to-contact and conversion rates. The report shows how sales leaders can transform their business into high-performing organizations by coupling industry best practices with business-specific goals and in-turn, delivering the ideal contact strategy to engage their best leads quickly and with the best salesperson.

Here are some of the key highlights from the study:

  • Calling a lead within one minute more than doubles conversion rates, yet only three percent of leads received a call within one minute.
  • Making between five and seven calls to unresponsive leads offers the best ROI, yet only eight percent of leads received between five and seven calls.
  • Leads that receive two voicemails on six missed calls are 34 percent more likely to convert than those who don’t receive any voicemails at all, yet only 12 percent of leads received two voicemails.
  • The study revealed that an overwhelming majority of companies did not apply optimal sales practices when following up with leads across channels.

Phone Response
Sales reps are 1.72 times more likely to convert a lead when called back within 30 minutes, and 2.14 times more likely to convert if called back within one minute. This is alarming, given that the average sales team responds to inbound leads within 48 hours. Past studies have found that six is the optimal amount of callbacks—this study found that only eight percent of leads received between five and seven calls.

Email Response
In today’s digital age, it should come as no surprise that companies were all-around better at sending email responses quickly vs. calling quickly. This can also be attributed to the wide adoption of marketing automation tools. Despite technology advancements, however, persistence in email didn’t hold up as strongly.

In fact, only seven percent of leads received between four and six emails from a sales rep prior to moving into a nurture status. Unfortunately, only seven percent of leads received an optimal number of emails, while an alarming 28 percent were never responded to via email at all.

Voicemail Response
The study found that utilizing voicemail in outreach strategy was. indeed, effective. So much so, that leads who received two voicemails on six missed calls are 34 percent more likely to convert than leads who don’t receive any voicemails at all. Research found the ideal amount of voicemails when following the six-call approach was two. While 12 percent of leads were left two voicemails, nearly half of the prospects did not receive a single voicemail.

Needless to say, there is a clear gap between today’s current best practices and actual practices. This report shows that organizations can drastically improve their conversion rates by implementing small processes, yielding substantial rewards. Now more than ever, is the time to bride this gap to empower front-line sales reps, helping them deliver the ultimate results.

As you prepare your sales strategy for 2016, tune into the ELEVATE virtual summit where I’ll be speaking. Register here!

For anyone who signs up for ELEVATE (which is free to attend) between Nov. 23 – Nov. 29 we will give $1 to Feeding America.

About the author

Nancy Nardin

Nancy Nardin is a recognized thought leader on sales technologies and building a sales stack. Smart Selling Tools reviews the latest sales and marketing software across multiple categories, including Inside Sales, Sales Intelligence, Sales Acceleration, Pipeline Management & Deal Flow, and Predictive Sales Analytics. It's been named a Top Sales Blog by HubSpot, and Nancy Nardin has been named alongside Forbes’ top 30 social sales influencers in the world. Follow Nancy on Twitter @sellingtools